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Grand Kankakee Marsh


The Grand Kankakee Marsh is and was an important place for the Potawatomi people who live in around the Calumet region of Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. This was once one of the largest continuous wetlands in North America in the Kankakee River Watershed, covering 1,500 square miles or approximately 1 million acres. Its western extent was near the present-day city …

Indicator Plant


A plant used to refer to the environmental conditions of a certain place. An example of an indicator plant would be Menomen or wild rice (Zizania spp.). Menomen is one of the most well-known indicator plants for the Neshnabek. Menomen is arguably the most significant cultural plant and it requires very clean, clear water that flows gently and does not …

Mshkeke mzen’egen [Medical Journal]


13in L x 8.5in W x 1.5in H The 234-page medical journal was researched and recorded by Joseph Napoleon Bourassa, who studied medicine at the Choctaw Academy and had close relationships with traditional medicine men before and after removal. Listed are health conditions and their medicinal therapies. Each treatment is recorded as a recipe, noting wild plants harvested and processed. …

Seasonal Rounds


The pattern of annual migration across an area’s ecological zones to secure the variety of food and household goods that fulfill social-economic and cultural needs. The Seasonal Rounds of the Potawatomi refers to the pattern of annual migration across the local landscape’s ecological zones to harvest plants and animals that feed, heal, and are useful to the Potawatomi people (Steen-Adams, …

Traditional Ecological Knowledge


Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) describes the complex set of knowledge, practices and beliefs about the relationship that indigenous peoples have with the living and nonliving world around them (Berkes, 2003). It exists in societies that have a direct dependence on local resources. It is the intergenerational knowledge that develops from a long-term intimacy and attentiveness when people are materially and …